Friday 7 February 2014

Stupid Geese

I was just standing in the window watching a cold, sunny winter day. Did I mention it was cold? I watched a couple of airplanes cutting across the pale blue winter sky, several cars drove down the road and a couple came up the alley. I looked at the piles of snow in the back yard and the frozen brown lumps that Buster deposited on the paths that I shovel for him. I don’t need a thermometer to tell how cold it is, I just have to watch how close to the door Buster makes his deposits. In the summer, he drops them at the far end of the yard, but today we are talking just a few feet from the door. It’s pretty cold.

I looked at the trees that were just scratches of brown and white against the blue sky. Where the branches became smaller and more numerous, it looked like a brown smudge or as it would look if I didn’t have my glasses on. No leaves at all that I could see. I did see several birds, mainly Magpies, but there were a couple of others just sitting on the branches looking pretty miserable. Have you ever watched birds on a cold winter day? They don’t do a lot of flying, but will glide every now and then to a new branch. I guess they are looking for some place that is a little warmer than where they were.
I know that birds have a couple of different layers of feathers that they will fluff up to keep themselves warm. I imagine that “warm” is a relative term when you are an eight ounce bird and it is -30° C standing on the bare branch of a birch tree watching how close the dog across the way is shitting to the door. Birds have hollow bones, but I’m not sure if that keeps them any warmer on cold days. Probably not. I hope that there is no feeling in their feet, because they have no feathers to keep warm.
While I was looking at the magpies, I watched several V’s of geese flying past. Who knows where they were going or what they were doing, it is long past the time they should have flown south. We have thousands of geese and ducks that choose to spend the winter in the parks and near the rivers where the water never freezes over. They are bigger than the birds that have to stay in the area and they also come equipped with down insulation.

I imagined the birds in the trees looking up in disgust at the geese as they flew past in formation, wondering why they are still here when they could be living it up in Mexico. It would be the same look that I give to those people who have vacation homes in Hawaii or the southern states and are still here deep into February. When they say to me “I couldn’t spend the whole season down there, I would miss the snow.” Well, fuck you! I put that sentiment right up there with missing coughing, sneezing and having a runny nose. You could check out snow on the internet if that’s what you really wanted to do.

I’ll continue staring out the window at the birds until sometime in April when the weather starts to get reasonable again. The birds will keep hopping from branch to branch hoping to find a warm one and with any luck those stupid geese will end up on a stick over some homeless guy’s fire.

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